What Is a Tea Towel – Types and Uses
The purpose of a tea towel might be unclear to a lot of people. Therefore it is imperative first to know the basic meaning of what it is before we get into other types of necessary information, such as what tea towels are good for and how it is compared to other kinds of towels. There are various types and uses of these towels; while you will know some of them, some of them will be pleasantly new. Either way, these tea towels were an excellent accessory back then and are helpful for multiple purposes to date!
What is a Tea Towel?
To begin with, Tea towels come in a variety of shapes and sizes. A tea towel might appear to look and feel quite ordinary to the naked eye. However, tea towels are a lot softer and thinner. Tea towels are made of cotton or linen; sometimes, a combination of both materials is used.
These tea towels also have a rather attractive embroidered or printed design on them. Earlier, during their inception, the tea towels had a different use and reasoning behind it.
How Tea Towel Got Its Name?
Tea towels came into the picture in the early 18th century in England. As you might have heard, people of the highest social rank used these for their most coveted high tea or English Tea.
Especially during the Victorian Era, the social ranking of the inhabitants was of great value. Teatime was a time of ensuring that the best of the tea was being served to society’s most influential and high-ranking people. The finest china and other crockeries were used for serving. This is where you could get a better understanding of what to do with tea towels. The house lady ensured the most impeccable care for these towels to be prepared and not fall prey to any embarrassing mishandling of fine crockery.
20 Ways to Use Tea Towels
Now, let us have a look at how these decorative tea towels have come to use for various purposes:
1. Use it as a Hot Food Item Holder
They can be used as a very effective serving towel for your dining table. You can place any hot food item like a steaming cup of coffee or a hot bowl of porridge on these. In case of any accidental spills, they help in wiping them off.
2. Get Yourself a Pretty Candleholder
You can use these towels for wrapping beautifully scented pillar candles. While gifting it to someone, rather than putting it in an ordinary gift bag, fold this towel in one half and then another, wrap it around the candle, and put a ribbon around it to tie it – it looks beautiful!
3. Keep Your Food Items Hot
This is your one-stop solution to keep all your freshly baked hot food items intact. Especially when you are gifting them to someone, wrapping a tea towel around them gives a very personal touch to the wrapping process.
4. Making Your Greens Crispier
It has always been said how leafy vegetables are a must in your food habits. You might need a clean place to dry these leafy vegetables every time you wash them. These tea towels can be an excellent way of wrapping them and patting them dry for use. You will be surprised to find out that this way, they look a lot fresher and crispier!
5. Dry Your Washed Dishes
Rather than having your washed utensils loiter around your entire kitchen counter, you can use these towels to dry them. Skip the use of a big rack; just lay down the towel and then place your washed dishes on it till the water stops dripping. It does act as a better protector for your fine glassware.
6. A New Pillowcase Cover
You have to fold the towel in half wise manner and make sure that the crease is on the top. The two side open edges need to be sewn; sew one side – stuff in the necessary batting and then sew the other open side off.
7. Make Your Dining Table Pretty
You can beautifully place them around the table and accessories your table. Go for lively designs that add a zing to the overall setup of the dining table.
8. Cabinet Shelves Lining Material
Once you place these towels inside the shelves, not only do they absorb any remaining excess water from the glassware, they add to the look as well! However, keep washing them now and then so that they don’t accumulate dust inside the cabinets.
9. Keep Your Tea or Coffee Warm
We have already mentioned how these towels can help to keep your baked goods warm. But, you can also use it with your cozy beverage pot, where you cover the top of a tea or coffee pot and pour out a piping hot cup with its help.
10. Dusting Purposes
You can slightly dampen your tea towel and use them for dusting as well. Just like any other towel, these can be helpful for the same purpose. Soak it in a little water to make it wet and rub dusty surfaces.
11. Crushing Ice
Ever been in a situation where you need some crushed ice? You can simply wrap some cubes in a tea towel and whip them on a vegetable cutting board, and you have it!
12. For Guests
Everyone requires to have a few extra hand towels for guests. You can easily use these tea towels for the same purpose. Hand them out to your guests the next time to dry their hands after dinner!
13. Covering Bread Dough
This might come in real handy for bakers! You can moisten these tea towels a bit before using them. But either way, instead of using plastic covers, you can use these to cover your freshly molded bread doughs while rising.
14. Holding Hot Pans
Threefold these tea towels, and they can be of great use to get a grip on hot pans. Have one hanging in your kitchen right within your reach to come in handy for such purposes.
15. Oven-Made Goods Kept Warm
All your freshly-baked muffins, bread, buns, biscuits need not get cold while the time comes to serve them. You no longer need to lock them into some fancy glassware; these towels do the job of keeping them warm!
16. Keep Your Cutting Board in One Place
We often find our cutting board not being stable while we are using it to cut fruits or vegetables. You can fold this towel and place it under the cutting board so that it stays in one place while you finish all the cutting and chopping.
17. Cute Curtains
If you want to get a café-like feel or block the unnecessary sunlight in a certain area of the house, you can use these tea towels in a vintage way as you hang them on the curtain rods and get some privacy!
18. Handmade Bag
One can do many customizations with these tea towels. All you have to do is stitch them on all three sides, put a drawstring in place, and have a homemade tote bag ready for use!
19. No Need for Paper Towels
Because of their finer and softer fabric, tea towels are more useful for cleaning, polishing, and drying. Therefore it is a great replacement for paper towels while being environment friendly!
20. Absorbing Grease
As mentioned earlier, for all your fried foods, replacing paper towels with tea towels is a great alternative. They help absorb excess oil, so keep a few handy as the oil marks might make these towels ugly over time.
Tea Towels VS Dish Towels
In the early days, they were known as dish towels. However, you can call them by any name – tea towel or dishtowel. Although, the fabric determines what name you should use. Tea towels are only made of linen or cotton, whereas you can find a lot of dishtowels made of terry cloth fabric. Therefore, this is how you differentiate.
Tea Towels VS Kitchen Towels
Both tea towels and dish towels come under the broader umbrella of kitchen towels. A kitchen towel, as the name suggests, is mostly used for various uses in the kitchen. However, a tea towel has multiple uses, as mentioned above. The main difference between these is mostly by fabric; kitchen towels can also be made of terry fabric; however, tea towels are limited to cotton and linen fabrics.
Tea Towel VS Flour Sack Towels
Flour sack towels are one of a kind in the category of types of tea towels. Made of premium unbleached cotton, Flour sack towels are a little more premium in quality compared to other types of tea towels. It can be used for decorative purposes, too, as they look very classy.
It is well understood that tea towels have evolved in their uses ever since their inception. Right from the 1800s until now, multiple purposes have been found for them. Different types of tea towels also make it easier for you to choose what serves your need. You might be looking for tea towels just for decorative purposes or for more functional use. Either way, the list of uses mentioned above makes it much easier to make your choice after you are made aware of its benefits.